Wednesday, May 10th was World Lupus Day and the Oncofertility Consortium would like to take the time to highlight the fertility needs of young women with lupus and the Northwestern treatment team that manages the disease and the fertility/endocrine needs of our patients.
Dr. Rosalind Ramsey Goldman, MD is a world leader in Lupus and says, “Lupus is an autoimmune, chronic, inflammatory disease that affects women primarily in their childbearing years. However, men can also have lupus and they frequently have severe disease. Some medications such as cyclophosphamide can negatively impact fertility in both women and men. In addition, if lupus adversely affects organ function and causes damage such as kidney failure, then the woman may not be able to sustain a pregnancy. Therefore, fertility preservation is a critical part of the disease management for both women and men suffering from lupus. In addition to managing the manifestations of lupus, an essential part of the treatment plan should include a discussion about future desires for childbearing and a strategy developed to explore the possibilities for that to occur when the disease is more controlled. Coordinating specialists in fertility preservation should be considered. Our goals are to control disease, limit damage to organs, and work with fertility specialists to prepare for childbearing in the future.”